8 July 2015.
Managua – The Emergency Preparedness Program (EPPRO) is an initiative of Better Work Nicaragua focused on increasing the levels of emergency preparedness in the textile and apparel industry of Nicaragua. The main objective of the program is to provide the basic tools for workers in the industry so they can respond appropriately in emergency situations that often occur in this sector.
When the EPPRO started, participating factories showed resistance, saying that having participants trained during working hours would have a negative impact in their production numbers and the productivity of the production lines affected.
However, once the program took off, companies began to show more interest and suddenly the EPPRO became a benefit that all factories wanted to have.
To date over 1500 workers and 26 factories have been trained and certified in important topics such as First Aid, Fire Fighting, and effective fire drills. Since Better Work Nicaragua is not a certifying body, officers of the Local Fire department are present in each training to certify the Factory and the participating workers. This certifications are also useful for the audits of the local department of labour.
To reinforce the programme, Better Work Nicaragua developed a fire safety handbook in 2014 that was widely distributed in the industry. In 2015 Better Work Nicaragua developed another handbook containing much more information related to emergencies, responses and special entities.
As a worker in the training said “I wish all my co-workers can have this information, because I know this is useful for life and not only for the workplace”.